Defence Ministry sets up committee to suggest measures to reduce litigations of personnel: Indian Express
The five member committee would include Punjab and Haryana High Court lawyer Maj Navdeep Singh and Maj DP Singh, a disabled veteran who lost a limb in the Kargil conflict in 1999.
In a major decision aimed at reducing the litigations and disputes in various courts across the country as well as in the apex court pertaining to defence personnel, the Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, has directed that a committee of eminent retired Army officers and legal experts be constituted to suggest remedial measures.
Sources in the Ministry of Defence informed that the committee would also be recommending broad institutional changes relating to to mechanisms for redressal of grievances and would holistically examine resolution of issues which have led to massive litigations pending.
A senior officer informed that the committee has been commissioned taking into account the renewed perspective in the government that focus should be on core functioning of ministries and disputes should be resolved at the in-house so that aggrieved employees are not forced to approach courts.
The five member committee would include Punjab and Haryana High Court lawyer Maj Navdeep Singh and Maj DP Singh, a disabled veteran who lost a limb in the Kargil conflict in 1999. Apart from the two, former Adjutant General of the Army, Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal (retd) and former Military Secretary Lt Gen Richard Khare (retd) and a former Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Army are expected to be members of the committee.
When contacted, Maj Navdeep Singh confirmed the development and stated that the committee would live up to the expectations of the Government and the military community and attempt to practically alleviate problems of soldiers and veterans.
Maj Navdeep Singh is considered an authority on legal matters related to defence services and has been a highly decorated reservist-volunteer with the Territorial Army. A supporter of soldiers’ disability rights, he is associated with many landmark rulings concerning soldiers and veterans. He is a member of the International Society for Military Law at Brussels and has been an invitee of the Yale University for discussions on military law.
Maj DP Singh is a Kargil war survivor who at one point of time in July 1999 had been declared dead by the doctors. He is an inspirational figure and the first Indian amputee marathon runner. He is a Triple Limca Record Holder and runs an NGO called “The Challenging Ones” for shaping the attitude of amputees using sports as a medium.
Military veteran organisations have long called for reduction of litigation, especially appeals initiated by the Ministry of Defence against disabled soldiers in the last few years. A large number of cases in which the defence services go in for appeal against lower court orders relate to minor pensionary benefits and the litigants are mostly soldiers with modest means forced to hire lawyers at great expense.
Read at: Indian Express
MoD’s panel to bandage veterans’ bleeding hearts: Times of India
CHANDIGARH: Can the bleeding heart of armed forces veterans be bandaged with a committee that looks into their grievances? The ministry of defence (MoD) is hoping the bandage works as it has for the first time formed a committee of experts to look into their issues and try and minimize litigation.
The veterans have been protesting for ‘one rank one pension’ (OROP) for more than a month and have even threatened to boycott all government functions. The new committee, however, would not touch any issue related to OROP.
Sources said that the decision to form the committee has been taken to reduce pending cases of retired personnel before various military tribunals, high courts and the Supreme Court. It will comprise five members who will look into on MoD’s policies that are causing heartburn to serving and pensioner soldiers and submit its report within two months. They will also suggest ways to remove anomalies.
Among the members is Major Navdeep Singh who has been a reservist-volunteer with the Territorial Army and is a supporter of soldiers’ disability rights. He has been associated with several landmark judgments passed by different courts concerning soldiers and veterans.
The committee will also include Major D P Singh who is the first Indian amputee marathon runner of the country who runs the NGO ‘The Challenging Ones’ for shaping the attitude of amputees using sports as a medium. He had lost a leg in the Kargil war.
Other members include former adjutant general Lt General Mukesh Sabharwal and former military secretary Lt Gen Richard Khare. A former judge advocate general is also expected to be a member.
Major Navdeep told TOI that committee would recommend broad institutional changes to mechanisms to address grievances.
Major General Satbir Singh, chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), which is at the forefront of the OROP fight said, “Any step taken by the Centre towards the welfare of soldiers is welcome. The government should be serious about implementing the recommendations of the committee.”
General Satbir, however, said that the government should also pay heed to soldiers sitting on hunger strike at 72 places across the country and “feeling hurt, injured and bruised because of non implementation of OROP”.
Eminent veteran and former army commander, Lt Gen H S Panag said that it is a good step by the Centre as pending of litigation is a serious issue. General Panag, who has also served as member of military tribunal, however, favoured inclusion of a bureaucrat in the committee so that the MOD’s bureaucracy would not sit over the implementation of recommendations of the committed after two months. Read at: Times of India
Defence ministry forms 5-member panel to curb litigation backlog: Hindustan Times
The defence ministry has constituted a five-member committee of experts to look into grievances related to service matters/pensions and initiate measures to minimise litigation and disputes in courts. The committee will also recommend broad institutional changes to mechanisms for redressing grievances. It will also holistically examine resolution of issues which have led to a massive backlog of litigations.
Punjab and Haryana high court lawyer Maj Navdeep Singh and Kargil War amputee Maj DP Singh are part of the committee. Former adjutant general Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal, former military secretary Lt Gen Richard Khare and a former judge advocate general are likely to be inducted into the panel.
Maj Navdeep Singh is a known lawyer on legal matters related to defence services and has been a decorated reservist-volunteer with the Territorial Army. A supporter of soldiers’ disability rights, he is associated with many landmark rulings concerning soldiers and veterans. He is a member of the International Society for Military Law at Brussels and has been an invitee of the Yale University for discussions on military law.
Maj DP Singh is a Kargil War survivor who at one point of time in July 1999 had been declared dead by the doctors.
He is an inspirational figure and the first Indian amputee marathon runner.
He is a triple Limca record holder and runs an NGO — ‘The Challenging Ones’.
The formation of the committee has come in the wake of defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s statements expressing his intention of reducing litigation involving the ministry.
In December 2014, public figures from all walks of life had written to the Prime Minister and the defence minister, saying the ministry must be sensitive to the requirements of soldiers, disabled veterans, and military widows.
The letter stated that most pending appeals pertaining to the ministry in the Supreme Court were against the disability benefits that the courts and tribunals have awarded to disabled soldiers.
The letter was signed by personalities such as parliamentarian Rajeev Chandrasekhar; actor Kabir Bedi; war hero brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri (retd); former navy chief admiral Arun Prakash; playback singer Chinmayi Sripada; former army vice-chief lieutenant general Pattabhiraman; journalists Sucheta Dalal and Nitin Gokhale. Read at: Hindustan Times
Parrikar forms panel on soldiers’ grievances: The Tribune
In an unprecedented step, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has set up a committee of experts to look into grievances related to service matters and pensions of Armed Forces personnel so as to initiate measures to minimise litigation and disputes in courts.
The orders for setting up the committee were signed by Parrikar yesterday. Consisting of five members, the committee will report directly to the Defence Minister and is mandated to submit its findings and recommendations within 60 days. The committee’s terms of reference include recommending broad institutional changes to mechanisms for redressal of grievances and holistically examine resolution of issues that have led to massive pending litigation.
According to sources, over 10,000 cases pertaining to service matters such as pay fixation, promotions, policy interpretation, pensions and military justice are pending before the Armed Forces Tribunal, the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
The committee members include Lt Gen Richard Khare, former Military Secretary; Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal, former Adjutant General; Chandigarh-based High Court lawyer Major Navdeep Singh; and Kargil war survivor and blade runner Major DP Singh.
Terming it a historic progressive decision to bring comfort to serving and retired defence personnel, Major Navdeep Singh said formulating the committee was a watershed moment devoid of any political hues and in line with the Prime Minister’s directives that the government should be able to focus on the core functioning of its ministries and disputes should be resolved in-house so that aggrieved employees were not forced to approach the courts.
Ex-servicemen’s organisations have for long been calling for reduction in litigation, especially appeals initiated by the MoD against disabled soldiers in the past few years. Read at: The Tribune
Stay connected with us via Facebook, Google+ or Email Subscription.
Subscribe to Central Government Employee News & Tools by Email [Click Here]
Follow us: Twitter [click here] | Facebook [click here] | Google+ [click here]